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David Celia - Double Mind

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 12 / 8 / 2015

David Celia - Double Mind
Label: Seedling Music
Format: CD


On his fourth album, Canadian singer-guitarist David Celia finds a way to bridge the gap between his studio songcraft and his often improvised live shows

Like many independent artists, David Celia will typically find his fanbase by playing live to them – and then selling them a CD and coming back into town a year or so later. A lot of those, however, buying those records after a show expressed surprise at how the versatile, electric jams heard in Celia's live show (typically stretched out over two hours or more) morph into acoustic or piano ballads on record. When Pennyblackmusic spoke to Celia in 2012, shortly after the release of his third album 'I Tried', he explained that his role as a producer on his albums meant that he had never had an opportunity to capture his live sound on record. That all changes, though, with the release of his fourth album, 'Double Mind', which plays like a David Celia live shown in miniature –flipping from classic rock to new-wave to country to pop, with plenty of Celia's nimble fretwork on display. Half way through the record, 'Thin Disguise' even breaks down into an improvised patch of jazz piano. A big Beatles fan, Celia sees nothing incongruous in jumping from a heartworn ballad to a kooky singalong ditty, and regulars at his live show will be pleased to hear a recording of 'Go Naked', a mariachi style singalong complete with a fizzing horn section and call-and-response chorus. Immediately afterwards, 'Modern Widower' begins with a kazoo-solo (yes, you read that correctly), but turns out to be an examination of how someone can rediscover themselves after a divorce, reminiscent of a Paul McCartney song with echoes of a Pink Floyd melody buried underneath the unusual instrumentation. Those fans mentioned earlier who bought David Celia albums expecting guitar workouts will – hopefully – have listened long enough to release that the ballads are really rather good as well ('Wishful Thinking', the third track on his third album is an all-time desert island disc for me). There is plenty of that here, with the wistful 'Look of Approval' in particular blessed with a gorgeous melody. Such are the vagaries and inconsistencies in modern pop, Celia has never quite established himself in the wider consciousness. True, he has built a loyal audience through his almost non-stop tours around Europe, Canada and the UK, but mention his name to anyone who hasn't happened to stumble across his live shops, and you will get a blank stare. But, despite typically playing in small venues (pleasantly small, yes, but still small), Celia's love of playing music shines through in his live show – you sense that if he did suddenly strike it big, his attitude wouldn't change at all. Perhaps the reason he hasn't had a 'breakthrough moment' is that he isn't easy to pigeon-hole. There are no obvious genre hooks to peg this album on to. Instead, you have something much harder to describe – a combination of memorable songs performed with skill and imagination (and bravery – few others would have the nerve to make the kazoo a lead instrument on anything other than a novelty track). But it is that refusal to rein himself in that makes David Celia's albums such fun to listen to. And 'Double Mind' is the best reflection of his talent so far.

Track Listing:-
1 Welcome to the Show
2 The Grind
3 Double Mind
4 Look of Approval
5 Speak to Me
6 Tongues
7 Thin Disguise
8 Drunken Yoga
9 Go Naked!
10 Modern Widower
11 Want You to be Happy
12 Princess Katie
13 Smile, You're Alive
14 Willkommen in deiner Show

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Interview (2012)
David Celia - Interview
Ben Howarth speaks to Canadian singer-songwriter and roots rocker David Celia at a show in London about his latest album, 'I Tried', and continuous touring

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I Tried (2010)
Unpretentious and melodic third album from Toronto-based singer-songwriter David Celia, who includes the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon amongst his fans

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